Hi. I’m Harrison, an 18 year old university student allergic to eggs, dairy, soy, all nuts, all seafood, apples, cherries, and pears. If you count, that’s 8 allergies, so I decided to create the 8 creative allergy advantages list!
When I was 7, I never forgot a toy at a restaurant, to tie my shoes, or to bring my homework while other kids my age left stuff all over the place. What was different for me? My auto-injector taught me responsibility; when I was 9. I was already remembering to bring it everywhere, and had the responsibility of telling my teachers I couldn’t eat their treats.
2. You can’t eat many foods
Why is that an advantage you say? Because I don’t need to figure out what I’m going to eat or spend time or money trying new foods or recipes; I just eat the same 20 or so things over and over with small variations. As a result, I’ve gotten so good that I can even impress friends and my parents by cooking for them!
3. Conversation-ing (because that’s a word)
Want to talk to someone? Here’s an example of how I do it. Just wait until your target is eating (should be easy because people eat all the time)
Harrison: What’s that?
Really pretty person who I want to talk to: It’s my lunch, its macaroni and cheese.
Harrison: Cool. Does it taste good? I wouldn’t know, I’m allergic.
Pretty person: Oh my gosh I’m sorry, should I not be eating this in front of you?
There you go, conversation. Do I want them to take pity on me, or do I want to be confident that I love myself? It’s all up to me, and that’s awesome.
4. Familiarity with restaurants
The 2 or 3 restaurants I go to, I go to ALL THE TIME. I even know the waiters by name there, and when they come up to serve me they say “Hi Harrison!”, and then I just go “Hi (waiter’s name)! The usual please”, and BAM, there’s no non-allergy person who can order as fast as I can!
Having food allergies lets you relate and share something in common with other people with dietary restrictions, for example food sensitivities, diabetes, vegans, or lactose intolerance. From there you can share common experiences, tips, stories, and in some cases that’s how I met some of my best friends today!
6. YOU GET TO BE PART OF YAP. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT ALL THESE AWESOME PEOPLE AND BLOG POSTS. NEED I SAY MORE?!?!?!?
7. Character building.
Imagine a family vacation to Mexico where you’ll meet over 40 of your family members, half of which you don’t know, none of which have food allergies. And then imagine a careless cross-contamination incident at the restaurant and going to the hospital while these relatives are watching you, some not even knowing you had food allergies in the first place, some not even speaking English! Yeah, that was me.
I really learned to own and not be ashamed of my allergies in Mexico because I couldn’t hide what happened, so instead I came out of that hospital saying ‘Yeah it was an allergic reaction. I’ll talk to the chef about it next time. I’m ok now, no worries. Can we still go snorkelling please?’
8. It’s you
Do you have someone you love so much that even with their negative traits (that you complain about to all your other friends) you wouldn’t want them any other way? Yep, that’s how I bet other people see you too! And sure I’m allergic to a lot, and sometimes I blow it out of proportion, but at the end of the day I’m glad it’s a part of me not only because there are 8 creative advantages, but because it’s me, and I love me and wouldn’t want me any other way.